It isn’t cheap to treat water so that it is safe to drink. But it also isn’t cheap to treat everyone who becomes ill during a waterborne illness outbreak.
Drinking water is best protected by taking an approach that uses multiple barriers to prevent contamination from affecting our drinking water. Known as the 'multibarrier approach', it includes taking actions to prevent contamination of sources of our water, using adequate water treatment and distribution systems, water testing and training of water managers.
But many people in developing countries, and people living in rural areas of developed countries (including many First Nations communities) do not take safe drinking water for granted. They understand the relationship that exists between safe drinking water and good health, because they have experienced waterborne disease firsthand.